Major lender nears multi-billion settlement

by MPA01 Oct 2013

JPMorgan & Co could reach a multibillion-dollar settlement with the U.S. government by Tuesday, according to a Reuters report. The settlement would end the ongoing dispute between the bank and the government over the sale of mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis.

The lender and government lawyers met last week to negotiate the settlement, said by sources to be up to $11bn. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon also met with Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday, Reuters reported.

The settlement talks initially concerned the sale of bonds backed by subprime and other faulty mortgages between 2005 and 2007, although it has been reported that the talks have since expanded to cover other cases. The nation’s largest bank disclosed in an August SEC filing that it was under criminal and civil investigation into its mortgage-backed securities. In those cases, the government alleged that JPMorgan had violated securities laws when they offered securities backed by subprime and other deficient mortgages. The lending giant ended up holding the bag on about 70% of the debt for bad home loans during the financial meltdown, Reuters reported.

Between 2008 and 2012, JPMorgan spent $17.7bn on litigation alone, and is currently facing more regulatory enforcement actions than any other U.S. bank, as well as at least seven separate Justice Department investigations.

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